ASCA News Digest (April 3, 2018)

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April 3, 2018

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ASCA Highlights



Data collection for the first quarter (Q1) of ASCA’s Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey is now open. This online resource allows you to compare your ASC's metrics with national performance statistics on clinical outcomes, staff indicators, billing performance and more. Purchase a 2018 subscription now.
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ASCA 2018 Focus Groups   You're invited to attend a Focus Group during ASCA 2018, sign-up today!

As an ASCA 2018 attendee, you are invited to participate in one of six ASCA Affiliate-led Focus Groups and Lunches. Topics include Perioperative Innovations, Joint and Spine Cases, IT & Cybersecurity, Infection Prevention, Reimbursement for Postsurgical Pain Management and Physician Preference Items.

For consideration, please complete the Focus Group Registration Request form. Participation is limited to ASCA 2018 attendees and advance registration is required.

Interested in attending ASCA 2018 but missed the online registration deadline? Simply complete the On-Site Registration Form and bring it with you to the registration desk at ASCA’s annual meeting, April 11–14, in Boston. Learn more.
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If you are joining us next week at ASCA 2018, be sure to check out the annual meeting community on ASCA Connect. All ASCA 2018 attendees have been automatically subscribed to the ASCA 2018 community. This is a great place to network with other attendees, ask speakers about their presentations or make plans for your time in Boston.
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One Medical Passport

By April 14, all eligible Medicare-certified ASCs that want to avoid future payment penalties must complete a new form electronically via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) website in order to be able to report on ASC-8. Read more.
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Want to be featured in Member Focus? Share your answer to this month’s questionHow do you make sure that insurance reimburses you on time?—and you could be selected for a future profile.

Member Focus, published on the ASC Focus website, invites ASCA members to share their views on key ASC issues.
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Full Cirlce   When it comes to revenue cycle management (RCM), we’re talking about profitability, operating margins and bottom lines—the collective lifeline in your ambulatory surgery center or private practice. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that a trusted acquaintance and proven professional was safeguarding it all for you?

Word of mouth is a proven way to refer membership to your peers. ASCA will award a $25 gift card to every member who recruits a new ASC to join the association. Any individual working in an ASC that is a member of ASCA is eligible to participate. Learn more.
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On March 27, ASCA CEO Bill Prentice and Regulatory Counsel Kara Newbury met with Lance Leggitt, deputy assistant to the President for domestic policy, and John Brooks, domestic policy counsel for the White House. Topics discussed included price transparency and the role ASCs may play in reducing the use of opioids. Read more.
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Smith & Nephew

Despite the expanded access to top-quality care that ASCs offer and the billions of dollars that ASCs save patients, Medicare and private insurers each year, many elected officials do not fully understand the current role of ASCs. This is where National Advocacy Day comes in. ASCA’s National Advocacy Day allows ASCA members to speak directly to policymakers about the many benefits that ASCs provide to their communities and to the industry as a whole.
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Industry News


Readers Seek Transparency on Surgery Centers, ‘Bill Of The Month’ Investigations
Kaiser Health News (03/28/18)

Surgery and anesthesia carry with them small but known risks, including death. The thrust of the story was that ASCs are more dangerous than hospitals.

ASCA 2018 Focus Groups   You're invited to attend a Focus Group during ASCA 2018, sign-up today!

As an ASCA 2018 attendee, you are invited to participate in one of six ASCA Affiliate-led Focus Groups and Lunches. Topics include Perioperative Innovations, Joint and Spine Cases, IT & Cybersecurity, Infection Prevention, Reimbursement for Postsurgical Pain Management and Physician Preference Items.

For consideration, please complete the Focus Group Registration Request form. Participation is limited to ASCA 2018 attendees and advance registration is required.
Medicare Is Cracking Down on Opioids. Doctors Fear Pain Patients Will Suffer.
New York Times (03/27/18) Hoffman, Jan

Medicare officials thought they had finally figured out how to do their part to fix the troubling problem of opioids being overprescribed to the old and disabled: In 2016, a staggering one in three of the 43.6 million beneficiaries of the program's drug plan had been prescribed the painkillers. Medicare, they decided, would now refuse to pay for long-term, high-dose prescriptions; a rule to that effect is expected to be approved on April 2.

BCBS Michigan Pilots Bundled Model for Hip, Knee Replacements
Healthcare Dive (03/27/18) Abraham, Tony

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) is piloting a bundled payment program for knee and joint replacements with 64 surgeons at seven health care systems. The pilot will use a mix of inpatient and outpatient settings in an effort to reduce by 10 percent the cost of an episode of care that, according to Blue Cross data, can be anywhere from $28,000 to $55,000.

Outpatient vs Inpatient Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion: A Population-Level Analysis of Outcomes and Cost
Neurosurgery (04/01/18) Vol. 82, No. 4, P. 454 Purger, David A.; Pendharkar, Arjun V.; Ho, Allen L.; et al.

Spine surgery represents an ideal target for cost reduction within the United States health care system due to increasing utilization and high payer costs in the face of an aging population. One dramatic strategy involves shifting traditionally inpatient procedures to the ambulatory setting.

Price Transparency Crucial to Healthcare Consumerism Success
RevCycle Intelligence (03/26/18) Belliveau, Jacqueline

Providers should brace their practices for the rise and permanence of healthcare consumerism, a new brief from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy stated. Healthcare consumers are expecting their experiences with providers to mirror those in the retail space, especially as patients take on more financial responsibility under high-deductible health plans, explained Anaeze C. Offodile, II, MD, MPH, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Vivian Ho, PhD, the James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics and Director of the Center for Health and Biosciences at Rice University.

Why Walmart May Have Designs on Humana, and What It Thinks It Could Get From a Deal
CNBC (04/01/18) Coombs, Bertha

Walmart has been making forays into consumer health care for more than a decade. Now, the nation's largest retailer may be looking to play a bigger role in the sector by acquiring Medicare insurance giant Humana — just as its rival Amazon is increasingly making its own moves in the health-care market.

Hospital Pass
Phoenix Online (04/01/18) Hawkes, Marilyn

In 1970, when Americans were focused on President Richard Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia and the breakup of The Beatles, two Phoenix physicians opened Surgicenter, the country's first freestanding outpatient surgery center, at 10th Street and McDowell Road. They wanted to give patients a more personalized experience.

State's Long-Promised Health-Costs Website Is Now Due to Arrive This Spring
Boston Globe (04/01/18) McCluskey, Priyanka Dayal

For years, Massachusetts health policy makers have envisioned a website that could serve as a one-stop shop for consumers who want to know the price of a common medical test or procedure. State officials are finally preparing to launch such a website this spring, months later than their previous self-imposed deadline, and with more tempered ambitions.

Patients at This Seattle Surgery Center Can Go Home Just Hours After a Joint Replacement
Seattle Magazine (04/01/18) Dolan, Maria

These days, it can take longer to get your car's tires replaced than to have one of your joints replaced. Seattle's First Hill Surgery Center is now offering total knee and total hip replacement surgeries in an outpatient setting.

Fayetteville First to Open Dental Surgery Center
Fayette Observer (03/13/18) Dolasinski, Amanda

Fayetteville will be the first in the state to have an ambulatory surgery center dedicated for children's dental care. Next week, Valleygate Dental Surgery Center will host a grand opening celebration of its $3.2 million center at 2038 Litho Place, off Village Drive.

Wills Eye in Philly Marks a Huge Win, Regaining Hospital Status Under Medicare
Philly.com (03/29/18) Brubaker, Harold

Wills Eye Hospital on Thursday regained its status as a hospital under Medicare, a major gain for the Center City institution that will enable it to perform complex surgeries that take more than four hours and to receive higher Medicare rates than it could as an ambulatory surgery center. The decision by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services came two months after the nonprofit, which is owned by Philadelphia's Board of Directors of City Trusts, lost a legal fight over its status in federal court in Philadelphia.


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